Fitbit data shows Filipinos slept longer but took fewer steps during pandemic

Since March, the world has adapted to pandemic lockdowns and it’s no surprise that our health and fitness routines have changed as a result.

New global data from Fitbit reveals how Fitbit users have embraced new activities to help manage our new normal. The Fitbit research team compared population level data from 2019 to 2020 by metrics including step count, active minutes, sleep patterns, and activity types to see what differences the pandemic have driven in the Fitbit community.

Here are some key findings that the Fitbit data revealed across APAC:

  • Mediation, Yoga and Pilates saw huge increases in 2020 across APAC, mirroring the global trend, with meditation in particular seeing massive gains in popularity among Fitbit users across the region.
  • Activity (steps and active minutes) levels across the region increased as restrictions eased, but not more than pre-pandemic levels with the exception of Hong Kong, which saw a slight increase in Jun – Aug 2020 compared to the same period the year before.
  • Hong Kong took the most steps in APAC during lockdown (Mar – May 2020) and as restrictions eased (Jun – Aug 2020), replacing Singapore as the country with the highest step count in the region.
  • The Philippines took the fewest steps in APAC in 2020, replacing India as the APAC market at the bottom of the step table.
  • Australia and New Zealand continued to lead the region in active minutes achieved, even if they did not lead in overall step count, suggesting a greater level of intentional activity such as exercise.
  • Most countries saw their lockdown gains in sleep duration reverse as they reopened, with the exception of Australia, which continued to enjoy an increase in sleep duration to 7 hrs 37 mins, a whopping 39 mins higher than the regional average.
  • Philippines was the ‘most improved’ market when it came to sleep. Increasing by 30 minutes during lockdown, and 25 minutes post-lockdown vs. 2019 sleep averages
  • The regional average Resting Heart Rate (RHR) improved during lockdown and stayed the same even as countries reopened. When compared against 2019 RHR, every single country saw an improvement.

On the whole, the data shows that while users have embraced a more sedentary lifestyle in 2020 with overall activity decreasing, many users have pivoted to more frequent stress-relieving activities.

What we studied

To identify the differences the pandemic has driven in the Fitbit community around the globe, the Fitbit research team analyzed aggregated, anonymous population level data from Fitbit users ages 18 to 80 with a BMI of 15 to 60 across tens of million Fitbit users from March 1 to August 31, 2020 as compared to the same time period in 2019, including step counts, active minutes, and activity types.

The following data set represents users from selected APAC markets including: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, The Philippines and Singapore.

2019 From MAR to MAY From JUN to AUG
RHR Sleep hours Steps Active mins RHR Sleep hours Steps Active mins
AU 64.86 7:17 9,625 297 65.31 7:22 9,557 297
CN 64.70 6:49 9,385 257 64.14 6:42 9,036 252
HK 64.98 6:32 10,338 277 64.83 6:31 10,054 272
IN 68.18 6:15 8,050 255 67.67 6:15 7,848 253
JP 64.75 6:36 9,776 275 63.92 6:29 9,089 267
NZ 64.21 7:23 9,394 294 64.62 7:27 9,297 293
PH 66.48 6:21 8,074 266 66.20 6:21 7,913 263
SG 65.28 6:22 12,778 283 65.26 6:26 10,113 282
APAC 65.43 6:42 9,677 276 65.24 6:42 9,114 272
2020 From MAR to MAY From JUN to AUG
RHR Sleep hours Steps Active mins RHR Sleep hours Steps Active mins
AU 64.63 7:33 8,904 277 65.24 7:37 9,203 286
CN 64.28 7:06 8,044 232 63.89 6:56 8,310 239
HK 64.39 6:51 9,760 247 64.07 6:47 10,676 248
IN 67.20 6:33 7,173 228 66.95 6:33 7,361 252
JP 64.45 6:49 8,046 246 63.85 6:37 8,203 252
NZ 63.79 7:42 8,765 270 64.58 7:39 9,079 287
PH 65.32 6:50 6,596 225 65.35 6:45 7,286 235
SG 64.11 6:47 8,628 239 64.24 6:46 8,865 249
APAC 64.77 7:01 8,240 246 64.77 6:58 8.623 256

Percentage growth in activity count, from 2019-2020

Meditation Yoga Pilates
AU 3,507.5 186.7 52.3
CN 3,926.0 60.2 64.9
HK 2,121.3 21.6 95.2
IN 2,381.0 241.6 89.6
JP 1,000.8 81.9 54.1
NZ 18,333.3 82.9 105.9
PH 2,598.0 123.4 83.1
SG 6,128.3 135.9 100.4

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